Can Chiropractic Care Help with Arthritis?
Many people suffer every day when it comes to Arthritis of which can be a debilitating disease. The majority of us who seek medical treatment for arthritis, find different kinds of medications that will be prescribed to alleviate pain but also to treat the symptoms and prevent your disease from progressing into further joint damage. Some of the pain medications can be habit-forming or come with an array of unpleasant side effects. If you are looking to find a safe, natural treatment to manage the painful symptoms of arthritis, a chiropractic approach can be an option.
A common misconception when people think of chiropractors is that they just “crack” the back and neck, however, it is much more than that. Chiropractors are trained to use many techniques to help ease pain and tension that can be specific to your needs, including arthritis. The main goal in chiropractic care is to alleviate pain by making adjustments in the spine and skeleton to relieve stress and correct alignment and balance within the body.
Let us begin by talking about arthritis and how it wreaks havoc on the body. For millions of people of all ages, the inflammation that is associated with this disease can be debilitating and can appear suddenly or develop over time. The most common symptoms that are associated with Arthritis are pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion in the affected area. Two of the most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis both typically worsen with age. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage which is the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint- to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of the joints. Autoimmune and systemic imbalances result in uric acid crystals that present themselves and are predominant due to underlying diseases such as Lupus or Psoriasis that contribute to the progression of arthritis.
The joints of cartilage wearing down due to weight-bearing such as the spine, knees, and hips but also appears commonly in the fingers. If the damage to the cartilage is severe enough, it can cause the bone to grind directly against another bone, resulting in extreme pain. This happens to be the most common type of arthritis and it affects people in their 20’s or 30’s. If you have a job that involves repetitive motion or if you are an athlete, you have a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis and wears down the joints over time, typically due to age. The cartilage between our joints experiences wears and tear that leads to this form of degenerative disease. With less cartilage, our joints may rub together, causing friction which leads to stiffness, swelling, and pain. Losing weight, staying active, strengthening muscles, and applying hot or cold therapies can help for a time, but they are simply short-term solutions. Chiropractic care from Chiropractic Clinic of South Florida aims to treat musculoskeletal issues such as arthritis, along with other common health concerns. Because osteoarthritis is a problem that lies in the joints, chiropractic care can restore alignment to the spine and other joints, as we address cartilage and lubricant deficiency due to central nervous system problems. It can help ease the pain as well as restore proper nerve communication to improve overall health and wellness.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis:
This type of arthritis is due to an autoimmune disorder that involves the immune system attacking the body’s tissues. Arthritis affects the lining (synovial membrane) of the joints, eventually wearing down the cartilage and bone which can cause joint erosion and deformity. The joints that are held together by tendons and ligaments are weakened and cause them to become loose and they no longer can keep the shape and alignment. Unbeknownst to many if left untreated it can cause damage to other parts of the body such as the skin, eyes, or internal organs. The decrease in joint tissue or fluid results in friction that leads to inflammation and pain. Misalignments of the spine can further exacerbate inflammation in the joint and will reduce the amount of healthy blood and fluid going these joints, only worsening the problem. Gentle adjustments from Chiropractic Clinics of South Florida will restore nerve communication so the body can function properly. This, in turn, reduces inflammation and decreases painful arthritis symptoms.
Some of the risk factors that accompany arthritis are:
- Family history: Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
- Age: The risk of many types of arthritis- including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout- increases with age.
- Your sex: Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout, another type of arthritis, are men.
- Previous joint injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
- Obesity: Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips, and spine. People with obesity have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
While any reputable chiropractor will say that every patient is different and will require a different type of care, for the most part, they will focus on realigning the parts of the body that have been impacted by arthritic pain, and relieve the tension that has built up over time. Some of the benefits of chiropractic treatments for arthritis include:
- Reduced inflammation throughout the body caused by arthritis
- Improved ability to move and better joint flexibility
- Reduced pain across affected areas and reduced referred pain in other parts of the body
- A better quality of life and ability to perform physical tasks
It is very common for chiropractic care to use a wide range of treatments for arthritis patients, depending on their needs and the severity of their case. Some patients might benefit greatly from traditional chiropractic adjustments to reduce pain and readjust their body, while for others swelling in the joints might make ultrasound therapy the better choice.
Ultrasound therapy is utilizing vibrations to release heat and energy around muscles and joints, helps to reduce pain and tension caused by arthritis. It is then followed directly by a chiropractic adjustment which allows the use of controlled force to adjust the position of the bones and joints. This can be extremely helpful in improving mobility in the body and reducing pain. Arthritis in one area of the body can also cause issues in other parts, for example, knee pain causing a limp with lead to back pain. Chiropractors can help treat these areas of secondary pain and misalignment, reducing the overall suffering of the patient.
Chiropractic care has been known to slow down or even stop the progression of arthritis. You will see the benefits with the decrease of pain and the Chiropractic Clinics of South Florida and our 7 locations across South Florida are here for your arthritic needs. For more information on our chiropractic treatment options for chronic pain, contact us at 877-881-4878 (HURT) or click on Make An Appointment to schedule a consultation with Dr. Garrett Weinstein.